Fencing: Championships draw best in NZ to Dunedin

Jason Sim (left) and Reuben Beer at the Edgar Centre yesterday. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Jason Sim (left) and Reuben Beer at the Edgar Centre yesterday. Photo by Craig Baxter.
The Lion Foundation Arena will play host to the foil, sabre and epee this weekend as the national fencing championships come to Dunedin.

The championships, which start today, will bring together about 50 competitors from around New Zealand. There will also be a few from overseas who are in New Zealand studying and have entered.

New Zealand fencing coach Dave Barson, from Dunedin, said though it was only a minority sport in the country, competition should still be fierce and the standard high.

There are three competition grades: the foil, the sabre and the epee, and many competitors over the weekend are lining up in all three.

Dave Barson
Dave Barson
Barson said the sport was like most others as it was a mixture of physical fitness and brain power, and competitors of all ages would line up.

Dunedin last staged the championships in 2006, but this year has the added value of having a raised platform at the venue which should make the sport more spectacular.

Wellington's Ping Yuan will be fresh from her victory at the Commonwealth championships in Melbourne last month. She won the foil in Australia and will be one to beat this weekend.

There will be three mats at the arena, and duels taking place throughout the day.

Finals will then start at 5.30pm today, and tomorrow.

On Monday, there will be a teams competition where three fencers will team up to compete across the disciplines.

Tools of the trade

Foil: a light thrusting weapon; target is the torso.
Epee: a heavy thrusting weapon; target is the entire body.
Sabre: a light cutting and thrusting weapon; target is the hip and above.

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